Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Yours grudgingly,

I was reluctant but I signed up for the TEE Methodism class that will be held this coming two weekends. I cannot exactly pin it down why but maybe it is because I am not so particular about being a Methodist. Maybe you could call me an indifferent one.

Oh! Don't misunderstand me, I am proud of John Wesley and utterly moved by his Aldersgate experience. But being Methodist isn't so important to me as compared to being Christian, and so I am still wondering why I signed up. I suppose part of me is being pulled in by the heritage of who I am.

But something interesting came out of it today. We received a long reading list and a long one it is, with books I have no idea where to get my hands on. I was a tad irritated because according to the initial notice, there were only 2 required books and I got them already. And now I have to read sections in these 12 books before turning up for classes.

I eyed the first one in the list, "Davies, Chapter 2 to 3."

"Now, this is required for the first lesson. Where in the world can I get a copy of it?"

In the bibliography, I found the full title, "Davies, Rupert E. Methodism. Epworth Press, 1985."

"Rupert E.?"

"Hey, don't I have a copy of this?!"

What an interesting name, Rupert. I remembered the book because of the name. I have it because a couple of years ago, the librarian in my former church was literally throwing books he thought was no longer relevant; in other words old books; in other words, those not in line with his thought. There were piles and piles of them outside the church office then and I screamed to myself, "What? Throw books? Sacrilegious!" and I started picking up books I thought were valuable.

And this was one of them.

It is a 1964 publication by Penguin Books - and interestingly I don't know what the "Pelican Original" refer to. It is old, the pages have changed colour and turned brown at the sides but I am now one proud owner of it.

Anyone? Any more books you want to throw?


p/s Alex just revealed to me that "Pelican original are the first original materials to be published by Penguin books (before that, Penguin was publishing reprints)." Wow ... and I didn't even know.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pan's Labyrinth

I wrote an apocalytic piece awhile ago and received comments from Sze Zeng and BK referring it to a movie called Pan's Labyrinth. With two, not just one, reference, I need to get a copy and so I did. But it has been sitting on the shelf until I decided to watch it awhile ago.

What can I say: whilst it is a magnificent movie, it is as gory as gory can be. And just like what one reviewer said, "It is excellently made, and I am very glad I saw it, but I could never see it again, no matter how cool the faun was."

Oh yes, the faun was cool, the chalk was brilliant and the mandrake root interesting, but there were two scenes where I reduced the size of the screen (I was watching in my notebook computer) to less than an inch as I cannot bear to watch the saw on a leg, the paring knife in a mouth.
Pan's Labyrinth is Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable. Told through the eyes of a little girl whose imaginary world is inhabited by nightmarish creatures, Pan's Labyrinth is a visually imaginative and allegorical take on the fears she faced in Spain during WWII. (Tomatometer.com)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I am a hopeless romantic

I have been doing a lot catching up with friends over the week, which is good. And I happen to pick up a DVD from a good friend.

It is a 2006 Christmas movie entitled The Holiday, where two women found themselves in similar heartbroken situations and decided to swap houses for 2 weeks - one in Los Angeles, USA and the other in Surrey, England. What resulted is a hopelessly romantic comedy and I am hopelessly captivated by it.

I have never been so totally into a movie until now. I watched it the first time for starters and then one more time because I cannot bear it being over. Then I watched the whole movie again with the director's commentary in the foreground commenting on the scenes, the soundtrack, the actors, the set. And to appreciate it with the new found information, I watched it again for good measure. All that in two evenings.

I am absolutely smitten.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Don't we do it too?

Someone told me that in order for him to feel better at the bad turn of his life, he sometimes open up the newspaper to read news about the afflicted and the suffering, as consolation that his life isn't so bad after all. Why does this sound so wrong? And why does this sound so familiar? Don't we also do this to a certain degree, in smaller ways?


p/s Kansas Bob has something excellent to say about this. You can find it here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another good lunch

It’s another lunch day and as interesting as life would have it, whilst yesterday’s lunch-mate was my colleague, this round was with Chris, my TEE classmate. Whilst yesterday’s lunch-topic was theology, this round was biblical studies.

Chris owns UBSD Distribution, a book distribution company, and I just picked up from him a copy of Alister McGrath’s Christian Theology. It’s about time since I have ordered it quite a few months ago and what more, my assignments on Christian Theology will be due in no time!

Other than conversing about the papers we took, we talked about our experience in researching, getting materials, the encounters we had with the different lecturers; we also asked the whys and wherefores of studying and going the scholarly route of our Christian walk with God.

At times when we face the frustrations of cracking our heads to understand the theological and biblical mysteries, cracking our budget to get more books and burning dry our midnight oil to complete the assignments, not to mention sacrificing the little time we have with our family as a result, we do wonder what for.

But it is a sacrifice some of us are willing to make, especially if we preach and teach the Word. If we look at the diagrams I have created below, it is pretty clear that it is pertinent we expand what we know about what we belief, in the right way and in the right mind.

My favourite verse on this is definitely and always will be 2 Tim 2:7, “Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. ” To gain understanding, we must first consider it, grapple with it, wrestle with it and agonise over it. It takes time and it takes considerable effort but it is well worth it. Imagine the size of the green-box you will bring to heaven!

These verses I found in 2 Peter is very timely. The green-box seems to be in v.11!

2 Peter 1:4-11
4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

I have yet to study these verses to find out more of its gems and treasures of truth. Now I will have something to work on … on top of a whole of other “somethings” that is, but work on it I will.


p/s it was not planned but looks like it is a good week with 3 "good" posts in a row! That is something worth celebrating for. Hallelujah!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Found a good friend

I had a very nice lunch today with Paul, my colleague at work. I got to know him when he approached me several times beginning of this year, asking me some HR-related questions and from there our friendship began. Nowadays, when we do get together, we no longer talk HR but talk God.

We come from differing backgrounds. Even though he has Methodist beginnings in the earlier parts of his life, he moved on and is now worshipping in a brethren church. I, on the other hand, am a through-and-through Methodist church member, although whether I am a through-and-through Methodist to the core remains to be seen.

(By the way, I will be attending the TEE module on Methodism for the next 2 weekends and I will certainly find out!)

With those differences, we find ourselves often having to explain our theological beliefs to each other and that brings about quite an interesting outcome. On my end, I find myself checking and rechecking my beliefs, some being all the more strengthened whilst others need some rework and rethinking, and some even a change. And I can see that it is the same for him as well.

It is good to have frequent amicable theological discussions. It makes our belief all the more alive, knowing that we believe in Yahweh, who even though is beyond us in all respects, he still revealed Himself to us, the imperfect ones, through Christ Jesus our Lord, the Perfect One.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Journey with Leviticus

My journey with Leviticus in a way began when I was in my teens. I remembered that one time when I vowed to read the whole bible in a year stopped instead in Leviticus during the Chinese New Year. The reading became too mundane for an immatured soul. Soon I read a pastor's account of despair when he had to preach from the book according to the year's lectionary.

Calvin and I are currently going extremely slow in our daily bible reading and we are at the moment labouring through Leviticus. It is not easy. It is so repetitive that this evening, as I was reading the second half of Lev 14, Calvin began to echo me because it all reads so similarly.

In my first TEE module with Reb on The Introduction of the Old Testament however, I observed an interesting chiastic structure in the Pentateuch that centers in Leviticus. I know I am a chiasm-freak and I might be wrong but just humour me.

Genesis - leaving for the promised land
   Exodus - the census and going out
      Leviticus - worship of the one and only Yahweh
   Numbers - the census and coming in
Deuteronomy - entering the promised land

After that, I was convinced that it is extremely important for us to study and know Leviticus, however mundane and repetitive it is, and again I say, it is very important that we do. When I was going through the Passion event with the youth yesterday, on the atonement, the only other passages I referred to was in Leviticus - where the foundation of the ultimate offering on the cross rests.

According to LaSor in his Old Testament Survey, "Leviticus is a picture window into ancient Israel's worship. From it we learn about the holiness of God. It unfolds the relationship between holiness and ethics, and even more it provides background for grasping the significance of Christ's sacrificial death" (p.91, 1996).

Given the fact that human continually sin, fellowship with the holy God required a means of access to God. Leviticus gives us a very good look into the sacrificial system that God had set in place, by which access to God was made possible. For one, it talks about the sinner's laying of a hand on the sacrificial animal's head as the animal is being sacrificed as an atonement for his sin, making it personal as the animal die in his place.

There is much to know and learn from Leviticus. The journey for me has barely begun.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Why did Jesus have to die?

I promised the Youth Fellowship last month that I will bring them through the Passion in the Gospel of Mark next. And now that I am to do it, I am not sure if I am up to it. I did not know where to start. The cross of Christ is such a profound event that we have nothing in our capability to fully express it, or to fully understand it.

I was at a loss: atonement and justification, reconciliation and propitiation, expiation and redemption, historicity and authenticity. What else?

In the end, I had to resort to simplicity. Simple but profound, that is. The session was broken into three:

Yesterday, I managed to hunt down a copy of Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ, and thought that it would be a good thing to engage these young energetic minds on a probable graphic portrayal of what Christ have done for them. I showed them about 25 minutes of the last section of the movie. They were totally in it.

After that, words seem so insignificant. I began reading Mark 4:32-15:47 with a running commentary as I went along. They were immersed in it.

Next, I asked them a simple fundamental question, a question I have found to be in every real and serious believer in the Lord: why did Jesus have to die? Aren’t there many other ways God can save us? No? But why?

The cross was a most violent death. To Rome at that time, crucifixion was political, it was Rome's way to destroy those whom the empire despised in the most shameful way possible (Frederick Niedner). The Son of God did not die a mundane death. He died a remarkable and spectacular and yet most violent and painful death. Why?

Because God is just. Because God is love. There is no other way.

We have separated ourselves from God, we need to reconcile ourselves back to Him but how can an unholy and sinful people be reconciled with a holy God without any amend? And what on earth can weak human do at a scale that can unite the unholy with the holy? Absolutely definitely nothing! The unholy cannot be united with the holy until the unholy become holy. There is nothing we can do that will make us holy. It can only be done through Christ’s vicarious atonement – an atonement that is suffered or done by Christ as a substitute for us. There is no other way.

And through our faith in that act of Christ, only are we justified as holy and righteous. And only then, reconciliation is possible. We are reconciled to God through His Son’s violent death on the cross. There is no other way.

Picture from The Passion of Christ, 2004

Friday, September 19, 2008

He is my rock and my fortress

Today I bear witness to God's act of guarding over me.
He has indeed guarded my going out and my coming in,
from this time forth and forever.

Psalm 121 (NASB)
A Song of Ascents.

1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.


Thursday, September 18, 2008


I do not think I have undergone any long periods of stress. I thought I am usually quite cool most of the time, until now. I have never thought much of it before but now I keep having this uneasy heavy and worried feeling with me.

Being a Why and What-Person, I need to know, to understand it. And here is the good ol Wikipedia:

Stress is the consequence of the failure to adapt to change, specifically the inability to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats to the organism, whether actual or imagined. Common stress symptoms include irritability, muscular tension, inability to concentrate and a variety of physical reactions, such as headaches and accelerated heart rate.

Hans Selye researched the effects of stress on rats and other animals by exposing them to unpleasant or harmful stimuli. He found that all animals presented a very similar series of reactions, broken into three stages. He describes this universal response to the stressors as the General Adaptation Syndrome, or GAS, in 1936.

(c) 2008 David McQuillan

According the the diagram above I think I am already in the third stage. How can I manage then? I have been trying many ways including praying, reading the Psalms, reading some books, watching TV but when it comes to the crunch, nothing helps except praying the Psalms.

The psalm that filled me today was Psalm 31. The last verse surprisingly engulfed me the moment I saw it: "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD."

Thank you God.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Still Life, Dutch House and 148

We are having a day off today being a public holiday.

First, my son took me to Washington's National Art Gallery, particularly the NGA Kids, The Art Zone. It has so many amazing interactive stuff that I got quite hooked into. You should try it out too! There's the fun and interactive Dutch House but not as good as Still Life, in my opinion.

Still Life
This lets you create interactive art that mirrors the paintings of the old masters. Mix everyday objects and painted elements while experimenting with composition, scale, and perspective.

These two are just my beginnings! There are so many possibilities!

Dutch House
In Holland during the 17th and 18th centuries, the "poppenhuis" or dollhouse was an adult diversion. Paintings by well-known artists such as Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Steen, and Johannes Vermeer spring to life as you mix and match colorful characters, create decorative objects, and explore the kitchen, living quarters, artist's studio, and courtyard of this make-believe Dutch house.

The options are limited, and here are my kitchen and courtyard.

Test Your Colour IQ

Then SH got very excited over this website because he scored 148 points on a Colour IQ test, which perplexed me because he is in fact colour blind. So Calvin began his test and he completed it with a score of 22. Huh? So I read the text only to find out that the lower the score the better, with zero being the best! We had a good laugh over it. I scored 10.

We are calling daddy 148 from now on.


p/s I did 3 more. And I've had my fill ... for now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Book Review: Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus

Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus
David Bivin and Roy Blizzard, Jr., Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, 2001

At first I thought I found a gem of a book here but now I am not that sure. This little book of 128 pages argues that we need to interpret the Gospels from a Hebraic perspective.

The authors are scholars of Judaic-Christian studies. They maintain that the bible needs to read with knowledge of the Hebrew language. They contend that the Synoptic Gospels are originally conveyed in Hebrew and that it is with much Hebraic idioms that cannot be fully brought across by merely interpreting it into Greek or in our case English. For example, English idioms like “kill time”, “hit the ceiling” or “eat your heart out” cannot be understood from the conjoined meanings of its elements (p.2). So it is with Hebraic idioms.

According to them, the Gospels are in fact a Greek translation of Hebrew origins. Jesus spoke and taught in Hebrew.

They brought up a number of “mistranslations”, that is, in our perspective. I highlight two of them here:

Luke 10:9 (NASB)
… The kingdom of God has come near to you.
The Greek “engiken” or the English “near” mean “it is not yet here”, which give an futuristic implication being not here yet. But the Hebrew “karav” means the exact opposite – it is here! It has arrived! (p.62)

Matthew 5:42 (NASB)
Give to him who asks of you,
and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

This saying is couched in Hebrew poetry – parallelism, i.e. expressing of the same thought twice, but each time in different words. In Matt 5:42, the repeated theme is carried through with the words “ask” and “borrow, each in parallel meaning of the other. In Hebrew, “ask” has three meanings: (1) ask a question, (2) make a request and (3) borrow. The authors tie this verse to Matt 5:39 calling it a further illustration of “Do not try to ‘get even’ (Hebraic interpretation of ‘turn the other cheek’) with a neighbour who wronged you”. Instead, when he comes asking to borrow something, sugar or salt or flour, give it to him. (p.73-4).

I was quite impressed with it at first but as I thought about it further, I am not sure if I am now. I also have loads of questions, the obvious one being: how do I know when is it a Hebraic idiom and when is it not?

It was also highlighted that “righteousness” and “judgement” in Hebrew could also mean “salvation”. If that is the case, then Matt 12:18b (quoted from Isaiah 42:1) which reads, “I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles”, would mean that God has given salvation to the Gentiles. But what does that say about the usage of “righteousness” in Pauline’s epistles? Paul is very much a Jew himself, a Hebrew of Hebrews in fact. Should we also give the same treatment to the rest of the New Testament? Why do the authors only focus on the Synoptic Gospels?


Monday, September 15, 2008

I am weary with my sighing

Psalm 6 (NASB)
For the choir director; with stringed instruments, upon an eight-string lyre. A Psalm of David.

O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger,
Nor chasten me in Your wrath.
     2 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am pining away;
     Heal me, O LORD, for my bones are dismayed.
           3 And my soul is greatly dismayed;
           But You, O LORD-- how long?
                 4 Return, O LORD, rescue my soul;
                 Save me because of Your lovingkindness.
                       5 For there is no mention of You in death;
                       In Sheol who will give You thanks?
                             6 I am weary with my sighing;
                      Every night I make my bed swim,
                       I dissolve my couch with my tears.
                 7 My eye has wasted away with grief;
                 It has become old because of all my adversaries.
           8 Depart from me, all you who do iniquity,
           For the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping.
     9 The LORD has heard my supplication,
     The LORD receives my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be ashamed and greatly dismayed;
They shall turn back, they will suddenly be ashamed.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Family, Mid-Autumn Festival 2008

We were at my in-laws place for Mid-Autumn Festival dinner. I have not paid them a visit for awhile now and so it was nice to see them again.

My father-in-law has contracted the Parkinson's Disease, but he looks quite good, though weak. One happy news I just found out is that he has accepted Christ as his personal Saviour! But he is experiencing nightmares, of a dark figure haunting him. My husband was with him on several occassions before this and had taught him how to pray against it.

Do pray together with us.


Saturday, September 13, 2008


(c) 2008 The Star

I woke up this morning with my husband updating me that Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Tan Hoon Cheng (Sin Chew Daily reporter) and Teresa Kok (Seputeh MP) were arrested under ISA.

Tan was released this afternoon, but Teresa's whereabouts is still unknown.

Our future is indeed bleak.

Here's more.


p/s I realised the "bleak" link above does not give the full text, and so I am reproducing it here:

Is Our Future Bleak?
Khoo Kay Peng Sep 8, 08 11:11am Malaysiakini.com

If you ask Malaysians - who feels pessimistic about the country’s future to raise up their hand, I am sure you will find a sea of hands! The fact is people do not feel encouraged by the current economic and political gloom.

It is wrong to blame the state of our economy entirely on the perverse domestic politics. But it is not incorrect to say that the current political dilemma does not help to encourage a more positive economic outlook. Perception is an important barometer for consumer spending and business investment. A negative economic perception will slow down demand and lower business investment.

It is foolish to think that by lowering retail oil price, our economy will roar back fuelled by a tandem increase in domestic demand. Again, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has asked Malaysians to seek divine intervention to lower the price of crude oil. We should instead pray for sense and sensibility for our politicians and policy makers.

What is driving the bearish sentiment of our local economy is the current uncertainty of the future of Malaysia. Malaysians simply are losing hope that this country will recover from its continuous slide. Then again, we cannot blame them from losing hope when many of us are actually losing sleep over our own job security amid soaring cost of living. Inflation last quarter has shot up to 8.6% which is the highest in 26 years.

The newly tabled 2009 budget is unexpectedly huge at RM207.6 billion and yet showed very little indication that it will be able to create more jobs and business opportunities for the people. Some managed a cynical grin over the offer of RM20 free electricity bill knowing that this sounds rather ridiculous.

Malaysia is one of the few countries where individuals are paying more taxes than corporations. Individual highest tax rate is 27 percent compared to 25 percent for corporations. The government is trying to be morally correct by increasing sin tax for cigarette by an additional 3 cents per stick. Will this alter the behaviour of smokers? More are expected to migrate to cheaper contraband or locally produced cigarettes putting their health and that of other non-smokers at even greater risk.

Spending our way out of misery
The lack of policy wisdom is obviously not helping to restore and enhance public confidence in the economy. We cannot spend our way out of our misery nor can we simply depend on frugality to improve our financial position.

What Malaysia need is a clear, competent and competitive economic solution. This solution can only be found if the ruling government is able to provide a solid policy leadership.

In his numerous policy speeches, the Prime Minister has repeatedly said that the private sector should take the lead in the economy. This is easier said than done. For the last two decades, Malaysian companies have been pampered with easy government contracts. Businesses went on relentless expansion overdrive due to easy access to funds.

Projects were awarded not on the basis of performance but social status and political patronage. But did the government stop for a moment to ponder what has been achieved with the hundreds of billions spent so far?

As a result, we have lost a generation of competent companies and individuals. Companies which are competent but lacked political connections had left to strike out on their own overseas. Some of them found it simply too cumbersome to do business locally when know-who takes precedent over know-how.

Many of our skilled professionals were attracted to work overseas due to higher salary and equal opportunities. Did the government pause for a moment to examine what was the main cause of our brain drain? Why the civil service is not able to attract the best talents when many of them would not mind working for other foreign governments?

When will it sink into our politicians’ subconscious that it time for them to exercise their mandate to govern instead of continuing to bicker?

When two coalitions collide
Again, this is easier said than done when the two coalitions simply won’t allow the other to function and play their rightful role. A fellow analyst remarked that both will probably continue with their act until Malaysia effectively becomes a failed nation.

From the political lingo and behaviour, it is difficult for us to call a number of these politicians anything but arrogant, ignorant, selfish, out of touch, incompetent and rowdy. Before you accuse me of being rude, I suggest you read up on Malaysia’s political development over the last few years and you would find examples and instances which will fit nicely into each of the categories I have mentioned above.

With the likes of Ahmad Ismail, Zulkifli Nordin and others, it is not surprising that Malaysian politics may have reached a point of no return. This is probably the best time to sell any semblance of ‘hope’ to most Malaysians. This explains why a large number of Malaysians are supporting the possibility of an Anwar Ibrahim-led coalition grabbing power regardless of the moral issue. Between life and death, it is all about survival and not the civic.

Hence, if the Barisan Nasional leadership is worth their salt they should have prevented this possibility by offering to work with the Pakatan Rakyat states. The fact is Malaysia is overly centralised. A heavily centralised government will not allow for PR states to function effectively if the former is not willing to extend a helping hand or offer to collaborate. If BN does lose power through crossovers, the leaders have themselves to blame for practising negative politics.

By helping the two coalitions to work for the people and to compete fairly to win over support is still BN’s best chance to stay a step ahead of their surging rival.

Khoo Kay Peng is a corporate consultant and an independent political analyst.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dreary and dull

I am extremely tired. I have been taking on things with reluctance but did them anyway with a sense of duty and responsibility. I have not had time to meditate much on Scriptures and I am therefore thankful with the few mp3 sermons I have with me. They at least keep me in check and they engulfed me with the truth even though at times I may be not really listening hard.

I look forward to times when I can again spend hours on end just to mull on a verse or two, and then blog about it.

Photo (c) 2008 Pearlie Ng

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I not only nearly lost my mobile phone, I nearly ran over it with my car today.

Actually, I think I did run over it, looking at its poor and dismal condition right after I picked up from the muddy roadside.

I was late for a meeting and in the rush I did not realise that my mobile phone slipped and fell as I got out of my car. There were no parking spaces available where I need to be and so I parked nearby at the side of a small lane right underneath a flyover. It was dark and damp. The phone did not even make a slight thud of a sound when it fell.

Amazingly, it stayed there in that position for 5-hours while I was in a meeting only to have me run over it while deciding what else to do.

It is working fine now – if not in tip top condition. Here’s to Sony Ericsson. Next to Nokia, they have proven themselves to produce hardy mobile phones for accident-prone people like me.

And of course I thank God that I am spared from losing it. The thought of forking out RM1,000 to get a comparable new unit made me cringe.

I need to be more careful with it.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You Gen-Y?

I have been attending a HR conference in KL these two days, being invited as one of the speakers. My 45-min presentation was quite uneventful – especially when I have a full room of hungry souls looking forward to the lunch break right after my session – though it is nice to know that some did enjoy my 45 minutes.

The one phrase that was uttered by practically every speaker – this one included, sadly – is “Gen-Y”. Much have been said about them and there is no stopping for more.

One of the speakers revealed that he uses internet tools to gauge the Gen-Y thinking and culture. He showed us websites where we can also take a peek, so to speak, into the world of the Gen-Y’s. Which sites you may ask – he came up with Facebook, Flickr, Digg, Wikipedia, Youtube and of course, blogs.

I was slightly incredulous – I am no Gen-Y, but I am in Facebook, Flickr/Photoblog/Stockxchange, Digg/Reddit, Wikipedia, Blogger and Youtube. How then can these sites show us anything in particular relating to the Gen-Y when we very well will meet people two or three times our age there? The internet has certainly been a paradigm shift to the world at large but certainly not limited just to the Gen-Y.

When we view stuff in these sites, they are full of people like us who want our voice to be heard. It doesn’t matter to us if it will only be to a small audience, or if anyone will agree with us. The matter of fact is that we get heard. Is that Gen-Y-ishly enough for you?


Monday, September 08, 2008

Back to the tension

On the way back yesterday, I sat with Keng Mooi in the bus and she inadvertently reminded me about work. My stress level immediately shot right back up!

It was a great weekend being away from it all but today I am back and loaded with deadlines left right center as well as a meeting that went disastrous.

Thankfully, I came out unscathed - my ego that is.

I am reminded again though - depend on the Lord and trust in Him.

Photo (c) 2004 Carl Dwyer

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Yio Chu Kang Chapel, Singapore

We are at Yio Chu Kang Chapel Singapore (YCK) today. This will be my first time attending a Sunday service in a brethren church. It is surprisingly quite structured and in parts quite similar to ours.

I don't think I am a full-fledged photographer because I didn't think it was appropriate to fish out my camera and start shooting in the middle of a worship service. Most of these pictures are from Boon Ho's camera.

(c) 2008 Ng Boon Ho
The size of Sunday services in YCK is on average about 300 people.

(c) 2008 Ng Boon Ho
We sang two songs - Halle Halle Halle and The Mission, it was Mission Sunday.

(c) 2008 Ng Boon Ho
Grace Notes - the whole team, at least here in Singapore, including Joanna our conductor in front, little Kristen, May Wan, our pianist, in black, Jen May, Boon Ho's other, in pink. Two altos and one tenor could not make it and remained in KL.

After service - where I started shooting.

The most sought-after little model! She is opening up to us photographers. She used to hide when she sees lenses.

(c) 2008 Ng Boon Ho
This is an absolutely precious shot from Boon Ho, or was it Jen May?

(c) 2008 Ng Boon Ho
After church service, we started roaming Singapore but not for very long - our trip back will depart at 4.30pm

(c) 2008 Ng Boon Ho
We're off shopping!


Saturday, September 06, 2008

We're off to Singapore!

My brother offered to drive my parents and I to the bus station but I had to wake up at 5.30am! The bus moved off at 7.30am sharp. We were on a First Coach bus and it was a very good ride. The journey took exactly 5 hours and we reach Novena Square at 12.30pm.

(L-R) Cheng Gaik, Tuck Lee and Alex

Lao Beijing Restaurant

Since my mom is a true-blue Chinese, we all agreed to eat in a Chinese restaurant called Lao Beijing (Old Beijing). Food was absolutely delicious - or maybe I was too hungry for words.

Siu Long Pao

Coriander Balls

Char Jiong Min

Beef Noodles Soup

We will be putting up the night in Matt and Li San's home. We were there to take a rest before going to Yio Chu Kang Chapel for rehearsals tonight.

My dad napping.

View from Matt and Li San's place

Then we were at Yio Chu Kang Chapel for rehearsals. It did not go too well - we were really tired.

Yio Chu Kang Chapel

Back Rub and Warm Up Session
(L-R Tuck Lee, Cheng Gaik, Janice, Alicia)

(L-R Boon Ho, my dad hidden, Heng Yew, Alex, Lee Mei, Keng Mooi)

Practice session
(back L-R my dad Richard, Heng Yew, Alex, Boon Ho)
(front L-R Keng Mooi, my mom Joyce, Cheng Gaik, Janice, me, Alicia, Tuck Lee, Lee Mei)


Friday, September 05, 2008

We are going to Singapore

Grace Notes will be on our way to Singapore tomorrow, to sing in Yio Chu Kang Chapel during their Mission Sunday.

You might want to drop in there if you are near. And watch out for this space - I will come back with loads of pictures.

Photo (c) 2008 Yio Chu Kang Chapel

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Prayer is ...

I got a new book, entitled Reversed Thunder, The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination by Eugene H. Peterson, and in his introduction, he quoted George Herbert:
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing speare,
The six-days world transposing in an houre.

Utterly profound.

What do you think it means?


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

You made me bold with strength in my soul
Psalm 138:3

I am blown away with the strength shown by Kim Guat, Yi Jien's mom. Refer here for the background.

    Dear All,

    Sunday has ended for us and they have not found anything as yet. They will only send 1 or 2 more teams tomorrow and Tuesday but weather is not promising for these next few days. And actually they do not know where else to send the teams short of any clue turning up. They will be meeting on Tuesday morning (Malaysian Tue night) to review the case and they will most likely not do any more active search after that. We appear quite 'foolish' to them each time we meet because we tell them that we are still holding onto the hope that Yi Jien is alive because God has been affirming that for us . . . for them, they are quite sure that he can no longer be alive after 21 days.

    As I mentioned in my last update, we can only trust that it is when we are absolutely without resources of our own or have no recourse to any human help or hope that He often shows Himself. And that seems to be the case now . . . humanly there is nothing we or the rangers can do at this point. We have not given up hope because God has not stopped assuring us that He will deliver Yi Jien . . . logically too, if He has kept Yi Jien alive all this while, then He should see to it that Yi Jien comes out alive.

    I was reading Psalm 138 (my regular reading) and Isaiah 40 today. I had not wanted to turn to Isaiah for a long time because I did not want to simply claim God's promises from there because there are a number of such passages. But today, someone pointed me to Isaiah 46 and then I decided to read from Isaiah 40 onwards. Psalm 138:6-8 spoke to me again about His deliverance and the whole chapter of Isaiah 40 was immensely assuring. Before I slept the night before the words of the song 'Still' came to me . . "Find rest my soul in God alone, know His power in quietness and trust."

    I feel bad that I have to keep asking all of you to continue to pray with us because it has been such a trying time for you as well . . but let us not give up hope yet and in faith to continue to come before His 'throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).'

    So thank you again for coming alongside us and prevailing in prayer with us. His peace and joy be with you as you continue in faith to seek His face.

    In His peace

    kim guat